United’s chief executive to step down

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iol spt feb20 David Gill Getty Images Manchester United's David Gill will step down in June after a decade as chief executive of the English Premier League soccer club. Photo by Julian Finney

London - Manchester United's David Gill will step down in June after a decade as chief executive of the English Premier League soccer club, United said on Wednesday.

Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward, a former investment banker with JP Morgan, will take on Gill's responsibilities although not the CEO title at the club, which is owned by the American Glazer family.

Woodward joined United in 2005 and played a prominent role in their flotation on the New York Stock Exchange last August.

As part of the reorganisation, commercial director Richard Arnold, who has done a series of sponsorship deals around the world, is promoted to the role of managing director.

Gill, 55, joined United in February 1997 as finance director and has been chief executive since 2003. He was in the role when the Glazers bought United in 2005 for 790 million pounds ($1.22 billion) in a deal that burdened the club with a heavy debt.

Gill will remain a club director. He has been moving more into the politics of the game, having been appointed vice chairman of the English Football Association last year and will seek a place on the executive committee of Uefa, European soccer's ruling body, in elections scheduled for May.

United manager Alex Ferguson said he was sorry Gill was leaving.

“Him stepping down is a big loss to me but the fact that he is staying on the board encourages me that the reason for his departure is heartfelt - that he believes it is time for the club to move on,” Ferguson said in a statement.

“If I could have found a way of persuading him to stay I would love to have done that. But he has made his decision and I respect him for it,” he added. – Reuters

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